Eagles get first win
Something had to give in Tuesday's matchup between the New York Mills (0-6) girls basketball team and Ulen-Hitterdal (1-5).
The Eagles came out on top, 54-44, in a game they controlled throughout. It was the first home game of the season for the Eagles.
"The girls were really excited to play in this game in front of family and friends," Head Coach J.J. Weller said. "We came out trying to play with confidence and to perform well defensively."
Ulen-Hitterdal was a shorter, quicker team made up, mostly, of guards who like to drive.
"We tried to take that away from them and make them take contested shots from the outside."
The Spartans made runs at the Eagles' advantage but were unable to thwart bursts from the Eagle offense.
"One thing we've talked about doing all year is playing a complete game. Every team makes a run, but we need to stick with the game plan and execute."
The Eagles were in unfamiliar territory exiting the locker room at halftime with a 15-point lead. For most of the season, the girls have been playing catch up after the break.
Spartan Haley Henrickson stole an inbounds pass and scored to cut the Eagle lead to six, 37-31, with eight minutes remaining.
EmaLeigh Roberts answered in a big way. She drained a three-point shot on the next trip down the floor, then stole the ball and scored with a free throw after getting hacked, to bump the lead back to double digits.
"That was huge for us and deflated Ulen and we were able to hold off for the win."
Ulen-Hitterdal made a final push cutting the lead to five after upping the full-court pressure, forcing four consecutive turnovers but with under a minute remaining all field goal attempts had to drain to get back in the game.
Megan Cole took over ball handling duties for the Eagles and found herself at the line looking to ice the game.
She sunk two free throws and on a third attempt miss, Ellie Rutten nabbed a rebound and made the put-back putting the game away.
Roberts and Cole combined for eight steals. Rutten grabbed 14 rebounds to go with 14 points in a solid all-around effort.
New York Mills had four scorers in double digits. Roberts led the team, with Rutten, scoring 14. Jackie Imsande and Cole each scored 10.
Ciara Austinson, of Ulen-Hitterdal, led all scorers with 16 points.
"It was a good win for us as we played more aggressive offensively and we rebounded better on the defensive end. They deserved this win."
New York Mills was without starter Jenna Esala who is nursing a foot injury.
The Eagle win streak was short-lived after a defeat the following day at Barnesville. The Trojans got up early on New York Mills building a 25-point cushion at the break on way to a, 64-25, victory.
"Barnesville beat us in every aspect of the game and showed why they are going to be big contenders for the section title. They had three seniors with many years of starting experience that were able to shoot the ball well and run the floor faster than we were able to."
The loss drops the Eagles' record to 1-7 and the schedule does not get any easier with road trips to class 1A #8 ranked Sebeka and Wadena-Deer Creek, holders of a 7-1 season mark.
The Eagle girls return home Friday, Jan. 7, when they will host Ashby at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010
NYM 29 25 -- 54
UH 14 29 -- 44
NYM player scoring
Player - (TP-AST-REB)